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Why Isn’t "Looney Tunes" Spelled “Looney Toons”?

Updated: May 23, 2024

The creative minds at Warner Brothers weren't bad spellers or just plain daffy when they came up with the name Looney Tunes in the 1930s. They didn't call their cartoon project Looney Toons because it was really all about the music, not the animation. Back then, Warner Bros. was in a heated rivalry with Disney over music sales. Sheet music and records were the popular products of the day, and Warner Bros. thought that incorporating its music catalog into its animated films would be a boon to its market share. As TV came along and Warner Bros. characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig grew in popularity, the musical focus slowly faded away and the cartoons stood on their own merit. It was really just coincidence that "tunes" sounds the same as "toons."

That's all, folks:

  • The first big star for Warner Bros. wasn't an actor or a cartoon -- it was Rin Tin Tin. During the Silent Era, the German Shepherd raked in a fortune for the movie studio during his 27 movie appearances.
  • Bugs Bunny is actually a hare, not a rabbit, and his famous mannerisms -- such as coolly nibbling on a carrot -- were copied from Clark Gable in It Happened One Night.
  • Walt Disney holds the record for most Academy Award wins, with 26. He was nominated 59 times -- also a record.
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